Will Vinton Studios has finished two live-action/CGI spots highlighting Midway Games' NFL BLITZ 2000 and READY 2 RUMBLE BOXING ROUND 2. The humorous spots were directed by Mike Wellins, who in the past has directed spots for Almond Joy, Chili's, Kikkoman, Mirinda, Pringles and ABC. In "Good Clean Fight," highlighting READY 2 RUMBLE BOXING ROUND 2, a 3D animated afro style boxer warms up by punching a disco ball and by the end we know that he isn't going to give a good clean fight.
Eyeball, a New York design studio, has created the new spot for NTL, Europe's largest broadband company, promoting their listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The commercial opens with the bright organically colored NTL logo followed by a purple colon. A matter-of-fact male voice-over tells the story of NTL's impending move to the NYSE as the points of the colon morph into two wires, which follow the camera through NTL's vast array of services. "We learned on a Thursday morning that we had won the NTL job," said Eyeball founder and creative director Limore Shur.
ViewPoint Studios has zapped up the relaunch of technology channel ZDTV as TechTV with a new ID campaign. The ViewPoint team developed concepts based on both the evolution of the network and the personality of the new logo. In a montage of live-action and visual effects work, a biological twist turns simple cell division into the logo at the microscopic level. Another ID gives a science lesson that demonstrates the fundamentals of logo conception. Maya was used to create the animation. "There were very few limitations," said ViewPoint Studios' design director, Michael Frederick.
Stockholm animation studio Filmtecknarna F. Animation has finished a 30-second animated spot as part of a series of ads for PDFA, the Partnership for a Drug Free America. The 3D/cel animated spot utilizes the graphic style found on rave posters and flyers. The commercial follows a cel animated boy through a computer-generated city where he is attacked by drug-peddling, robot bugs and is only saved by the music from his headphones.
Santa Monica, California digital studio R!OT has created the visual effects for a new Samsung television commercial featuring Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson. The commercial shows the world-record holder running on a track that actually is a super-sized Samsung 8500 cellular phone. Johnson, the other runners and race officials were shot against a green screen at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, California, in addition to other objects like a pair of wind-whipped flags.
New York design studio hey! designed and produced the new ID campaign for the TNN networks' transformation from The Nashville Network to The National Network. All five of the 5-second IDs contain the tag line, "We've got pop!" "Each element in the series took a slightly different approach to defining what 'pop' is and how it looks, feels and sounds," said hey! creative director Josh Pelzek. "In three of the IDs, we interpreted 'pop' as an action - popcorn exploding like fireworks, a button popping off a large man's shirt and bubbles - which contain the TNN logo - popping in mid-air.
Santa Maria, California-based Computer Café has created photo-realistic 3D animation simulating a NASCAR race for an Electronic Arts product demonstration. Produced by Western Images the video showcases a new game
Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog (T/MD) created the visual effects for the relaunch of T. Eaton Company Ltd., the Canadian department store chain now owned by Sears Canada, Inc. The new campaign was developed by Ammirati Puris of Toronto, and directed by Floria Sigismondi. The campaign contains one 1:55 spot, one 2:35 spot, one 90-, 60- and 30-second spot and three 5-second Billboard spots. The spots recreate the feel of a 1950s Hollywood musical. The spots feature three principal characters: Gracie, the heroine; Harry Carmichael, Gracie's boss; and Arch, Gracie's right-hand man.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has created the visual effects for a new New York State Lottery 30-second spot. In "Talking Mule," a live-action talking donkey ponders why miners bother panning for gold when all they need to do is play New York Lottery's "24K" game. Rhinoceros developed a highly efficient new system of simulating speech for "Talking Mule" that called for Inferno compositing, rather than the standard CGI work.
ATTIK, a global creative solutions company, produced and designed the new branding campaign to launch the Sony PlayStation game, MOTORACER WORLD TOUR. The campaign contains a 30-second spot with a 15-second cutdown, a full spread and single page print ad, the front cover of the game and its point of purchase packaging. The spot features game footage woven together with typography and a CGI motorcycle.
Stockholm animation studio Filmtecknarna F. Animation AB has just wrapped on a new 30-second commercial for McDonald´s. The spot features an animated prince, sleeping beauty and dragon. The commercial was directed by Filmtecknarna´s Jonas Dahlbeck, who has previously directed spots for Boddingtons, Sky and Cartoon Network. The 3D backgrounds were designed and produced by Boris Nawratil with Lars Ohlson producing. The ad was created for the British agency Leo Burnett.
TOPIX/Mad Dog completed the 3D animation for a pair of 10-second spots for Boots Lights Cigarettes entitled "Striptease" and "Mirilla." In "Striptease," a crowd of lighters eagerly await the arrival of the main attraction - the new Boots Lights cigarette packaging. The old package shimmies out of its wrapper and the crowd goes wild when the new packaging makes its debut. In "Mirilla," cigarettes get restless in their old package and wrestle to be the first to get into their new packaging.
FilmCore's editor Michael Bartoli and ILM director Bill Werts have teamed on the new spot for Toyota's new Corolla S Model. The 30-second spot opens on a newspaper floating in the air above a suburban street. On the center of the front page is a large picture of a man who comes to life and tries to hail a ride from a passing car. Werts and the team at ILM shot a real newspaper against blue-screen, with the paper attached to monofilament to make it dance. The actor was shot separately then composited with the newspaper. Initial compositing was performed by Bartoli on Avid.
R!OT, a creative digital studio, has produced a new, CGI commercial for Suissa Miller Advertising and its client SkyTel Communications. "Colorful Conversation" introduces the Talkabout, a wireless communications device made by Motorola that can be used on the SkyTel system to send and receive e-mail messages and pages. In the spot, several of the devices appear like small UFOs in the sky above a large city. While flying around, they send messages to one another about a party in the city below. "The Talkabout is made of a unique plastic," said spot director Carl Seibert.
Santa Monica, California-based COMPUTERCAFE recently created a pair of 3D animated characters for two new spots for Nerf. In "BallZooka," a boy is pitted against a towering wrestler who looks like he could tear him limb from limb, but he uses his BallZooka, a motorized toy capable of rapidly firing Nerf balls, to pin his opponent to the canvas. In "Power Clip/Wildfire," another boy, armed with a Nerf Power Clip DX 100 Blaster, unleashes a barrage of foam darts that helps him defeat his silver super-speedy foe.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created a Godzilla-themed promo for ABC's TV series SPIN CITY, THE DREW CAREY SHOW and WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE? "It all started last May with a call from Michael Benson, senior vice president (advertising and promotion) and Alan Cohen, executive vice president (marketing, advertising and promotion) for ABC-TV (LA), on the referral of Fred Seibert (former president of Hanna-Barbara)," said animation director J.J. Sedelmaier. "They wanted a cool animation spot for one of these shows to break through the clutter and attract attention.
Vancouver-based Natterjack recently completed 19-minutes of animation for Cartoon Network's "Scare-A-Thon Sweepstakes" Halloween promotion, featuring characters from SCOOBY-DOO and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG. The overall project involved the design and animation of 16 1-minute bumpers and 3 1-minute ads. The promos have the cast of both shows telling ghost stories, which frighten Scooby and Courage. Viewers, after witnessing the two dog's reactions to the various scary tales, are encouraged to call in and vote for the 'scardiest' dog.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped on a new spot for Novartis Nutrition Mexico. The 20-second spot promotes the C-1000-C, a supplement that combines Vitamin C and calcium, and benefits the respiratory system, teeth and bones. TOPIX/Mad Dog used a 2D-animation style completed in 3D. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'Amelio explains, "The hand-drawn color-washed characters introduce the new vitamin in an entertaining, humorous and informative way by showing kids in various stages of play demonstrating the benefits of the product." Tyrone McFadden directed the animation for TOPIX/Mad Dog.
A.Film Copenhagen has finished up a new 30-second commercial with Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. The spot is part of a new European revisioning campaign for the Tony the Tiger character. In the commercial, Tony wears a handkerchief on top of his head and makes hip-hop type street-smart signs with his hands. A.Film combined traditional cel animation with live-action. Craig Frank served as the animation director and Easy Film's Thomas Buck directed the live-action. The spot was produced for ad agency Leo Burnett.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions animated its fifth 30-second spot for Old Navy. In the commercial "Tons of Ts," the animated Old Navy kids cut loose to the Jackson Five tune "ABC," as they model dozens of new T-shirts. The spot ends with an animated version of Old Navy's spokesdog Magic jumping into a T-shirt hanging on a clothesline.
Paris-based animators Mac Guff Ligne have created seven new Pillsbury Doughboy spots. According to Mac Guff Ligne executive Niko Trout, the main challenge faced by his company's designers and animators was learning proper respect for the character. "The only thing we had as reference was our own Michelin man," Trout said. "We had to be careful to understand the permutations of what we were dealing with." Working on the spots for Mac Guff Ligne were executive producer/CG and special effects wizard Nicolas Trout, visual effects supervisor Frank Baradat and executive producer/U.S.
Will Vinton Studios created two CGI spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. In "Splat," AT&T's blue-striped globe logo races forward several times splatting itself on the TV screen until in finally shatters the glass and disappears into space. In "Whirlwind," a blue whirlwind spins around a white ball until in finally wraps itself around the globe forming the AT&T logo. The commercials were done in Maya and started airing during the Sydney Summer Olympics. Jim Hardison directed the spots for New York ad agency Young & Rubicam.
R!OT has created the CGI tornado for a new spot for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo. The spot starts out with a realistic tornado traveling down an urban street. The twister final stops backs up and parks in a parking spot. After the storm cloud settles and reveals the Monte Carlo SS, Warner Bros.' animated character the Tasmanian Devil hops out of the car and drops change into the meter. "The idea was to create a realistic tornado in order to take the audience by surprise at the end," said ad agency Campbell-Ewald's executive producer Craig Mungons.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has wrapped on a series of 1 1/2-minute interstitials entitled "A Stranger in Town," starring caped crusader Capt. Linger, who has a tendency to talk your ear off after saving your life. Stuart Hill sold the Linger idea to Cartoon Network and producer Lynn Slowinski presented the concept to Sedelmaier. At first the concept was written in a DUDLEY DO-RIGHT style, but Sedelmaier envisioned it with a flat comic book look. "Stuart (Hill) had a clear idea of what to retain from the original concept but he didn't hold onto anything unnecessarily," said Sedelmaier.
New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has completed the digital imagery work for three new Alka Seltzer spots. In the 30-second "This Cold Season" and two 15-second spots, "Just Picked" and "Dew Drop," legions unite as a single cold sufferer in one digital mosaic transition. The spots also contain a multitude of CG bubbles and a photo-real CG Alka Seltzer package. "The recent Alka Seltzer spots had a lot of challenging aspects that made them call for more CG than originally anticipated," noted Arman Matin, Rhinoceros' CG project leader.